Our bodies are comprised mostly of water and we thrive on it. Hydration is essential to peak athletic performance. When you do not consume enough liquid or fresh fruits and vegetables to stay properly hydrated, you end up thirsty and light headed. Insufficient hydration fatigues your muscles, reduces your coordination and causes muscle cramps. While working out or playing sports, dehydration compromises the body’s ability to cool itself through sweating. This leads to heat exhaustion and in extreme cases a potentially life-threatening condition called heat stroke.
Dehydration is easily recognized by symptoms like thirst and reduction in the volume of urine or discharge of dark yellow colored urine. It also produces some other symptoms, such as dry mouth, headache, dizziness, sunken eyes, lethargy, increased heart rate, and irritability.
Staying hydrated has several major benefits. First is a HUGE effect on our skin’s appearance! The more hydrated we are, the better our skin looks! It is more plump, radiant, and supple. This includes the face (wrinkles) and the body (saggy skin and cellulite). Just that is enough of a benefit for me! It also keeps your cells, tissues, and organs flushed clean thereby not retaining toxins or by-products. It also assists in weight loss by helping you feel more satiated and full.I have to remind myself often to keep hydrated in this kind of weather. Whether it be working (landscaping), playing, gardening, or daily activities outside – it is VERY IMPORTANT to stay hydrated! The main signal to my body when I don’t drink enough is a headache. I rarely get them, but when I do, it is always related to lack of fluids.
Drinking green juices and smoothies are a great way to get nutrition and liquids into the body, but in hot, humid weather, we need to go a bit further.
That is why today we are focusing on healthy teas that will nourish and hydrate our bodies and cells and taste great! We all know that if something tastes amazing, we are more apt to stick with it and do it. This is one of those recipes!
You can make as much (1 gallon) or as little (1 quart) as you want. It is best to make a large quantity, thereby ensuring you are prepared and stocked with nourishing liquids to grab as needed.
A great way to do this is with herbal tea and fruit infused water. Use one of your favorite herbal teas and add some fresh herbs to it. A simple recipe for fruit infused water would be fresh water, organic orange slices, a handful of fresh mint, and stevia for sweetener. I let this steep for about 30 minutes and then it's ready to enjoy. The longer the fresh herbs and fruit stay in water, the better it gets and tastes! Fresh herbs such as mint (chocolate, orange, apple, peppermint), basil (sweet, lime, lemon, cinnamon), lemon thyme, and more are fabulous to add for taste and health benefits. The sky’s the limit (just don’t use any tea with caffeine).
Another great tip to stay hydrated and nourished in warmer weather is to add chia seeds to your water. With chia seeds, you retain moisture and regulate the body’s absorption of nutrients and body fluids. Because there is a greater efficiency in the utilization of body fluids, the electrolyte balance is maintained. Everything a Sunwarrior needs!
Kibby Miller turned her life and health around in 2010 by switching over to a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Two years later, enthused with the results she saw in herself and passionate about getting the word out, she started her own blog on healthy, plant-based eating. She now teaches others how easy and delicious it is to transition over to this way of eating and living through her Healthy Cooking Classes and also offers her services to teach people in their own home how to buy and prepare healthier food choices, organize their kitchens, and make the change to a better lifestyle. Come visit www.kibbysblendedlife.com to find out more about Kibby and to get tons of information, recipes, and inspiration!
Strawberry splash photo credit: Andreas Krappweis